Former priest charged; diocese responds

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A former priest with the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall is facing sex-related charges.

In a release Tuesday morning, SD&G O.P.P. announced they had charged Denis Vaillancourt, 70, of Lasalle, Que. with one count of sexual assault.

He is alleged to been involved in an incident in September 2015 at a home in South Glengarry where an adult male was sexually assaulted.

In an unusual turn, the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall responded to the charges even before they had been made public by provincial authorities.

The diocese released details Friday in a media release while also condemning the alleged actions.

“Any allegation of improper conduct by a priest is an extremely serious matter. The Diocese has cooperated fully with local authorities,” read the statement.

“It would be inappropriate for diocesan officials to comment on the specifics of this case as it is currently a police matter. However, we must be clear in stating that any form of misconduct by personnel of the Catholic Church is unacceptable. The Diocese has developed extensive procedures to foster a safe environment for all members of our faith community.”

Father Vaillancourt will make a court appearance in Alexandria on Nov. 18.

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